Gundam Breaker 4 aims to be the most expansive in the series yet

Not that it's any shock, but Gundam Breaker 4 has a lot to live up to - doubly so with the state of the franchise after 2018's New Gundam Breaker. With the game's release the hope has always been that a return to a numbered title might signal a return t form - and at least for now, it seems that's exactly what the developers have accomplished. We had the chance to get a brief hands-on with the game during this year's Anime Expo, and we're already excited for the chance to play more.

First thing's first; Gundam Breaker 4 launches August 29, 2024, worldwide, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and PC. It comes with an English dub this time around, and a renewed focus on multiplayer - balanced around the idea of showing off your own customized Gunpla units. To that end, there's an extra focus on co-op play, and multiplayer lobbies can now hold up to 24 players. Crucially, lobbies now are accessed from your own Gunpla, meaning that even in-between missions players can show off their favorite units before even heading out.

Speaking of customization, one highlight from our demo was the ability to change out your Gunpla's arms separately - you no longer have to have symmetrical arms on a unit, and now you can attack specifically with your left or right arm to accommodate the change. Even just from a visual standpoint, it's a massive change, and while we didn't personally get enough time to gauge how much it may change the gameplay, it at least sounds like a promising mechanic on paper.

Similarly, there were no obvious red flags with the controls out of the gate. The game performed perfectly on PlayStation 5 - the build we tested - and combat felt plenty responsive to boot. Despite the orientation of the demo stations, we didn't get the chance to test multiplayer, but we did play through a stage in Quest Mode. Later this month there will be a network test for players to engage with, so chances are that co-op and PvP will be in working order by lanch; though I still wish we could've tested it ourselves.

The same could be said for much of what wasn't yet present in the demo. Knowing that the game will have the most base kits available at launch is great, but it's hard to gauge exactly how much that impacts the game with the limited scope of the demo. Having such a big focus on player expression and multiplayer feels like the logical next step for the franchise, but with only the singleplayer Quest mode accessible, it's simply impossible to judge those new features in a vacuum.

Not that it matters all that much; Gundam Breaker 4 feels like a confident production, and based off what we played I see no reason to believe it won't be a true return to form. We'll have to see exactly how true that is when it launches on August 29 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and PC (Steam).